16 July 2012
MPs received 40,000 emails opposing APD levels in a single day after a Twitter campaign went viral.
The Fair Tax on Flying group, which is calling on the Treasury to research how Air Passenger Duty affects the economy, received the boost on Friday when Twitter users sent the email en masse.
In the four weeks since the campaign began - 55,000 emails have been sent to MPs in one of the biggest social media lobbying campaigns ever organized.
Organisers described it is the 'Branson effect' after Sir Richard Branson publicly backed the campaign last week and Virgin Atlantic announced they would be encouraging their passengers to write to their MP.
Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said "Thousands of Virgin Atlantic passengers have thrown their support behind this campaign. When people realise just how much tax they are paying to fly, particularly compared with other countries, they immediately want to tell their MP.
The Government increased APD by 8% in April making it the highest air passenger tax anywhere in the world.
Former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy MP is one of 66 MPs to have signed an early day parliamentary motion expressing concern about the "financial impact on ordinary families and their ability to fly".
Mr Kennedy added: "There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the UK's Air Passenger Duty is acting as a significant brake on inward investment and inbound tourism and is putting the UK at a competitive disadvantage, particularly against our European neighbours."
MP Mark Durkan is encouraging 'as many people as possible to email me directly' so he can make the case to the Treasury.
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: "From the huge public support for this campaign it is clear beyond any doubt that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is now one of the most hated stealth taxes in the UK.
"Our hope is that as the holiday season approaches, many more people let their MP know what they think, that their MPs will lobby the Treasury, and that the Chancellor will respond by not putting up APD even further at the next Budget."